I have sent the following response to Dublin City Council’s consultation on the redesign of the junction of North Wall Quay/ East Wall Road/ Eastlink Bridge at The Point.
Dublin City Council,
Block 4, Floor 3 Civic Offices,
I live in Howth and work in Ringsend; this is my route to work. As Councillor for Howth/ Malahide ward on Fingal County Council I also represent constituents who use this route on a daily basis. We have an excellent coastal cycle route as far as East Point Business Park at which point the journey becomes a lot more difficult.
The scheme objectives set out in the report fail to address cyclists’ and pedestrians’ needs for safe and convenient road design and the proposal fails to adequately provide for pedestrians and cyclists as a result.
The most significant element of this is the routing of cyclists through waiting bus passengers and alighting bus passengers on each side of East Wall Road.
There are significant bus passenger numbers at this location as it is an interchange between Luas and bus services through the Port Tunnel, as well as being in the vicinity of employment and the Point Depot theatre. Buses stopping here include Swords Express, Aircoach, Airlink 747, 33x, 33d, 142, 151. The result is a high frequency of buses stopping and significant bus passenger use of the area.
However, it seems that no passenger count data has been gathered in advance of the design, or even calculations of the total frequency of buses at the bus stops in question. Traffic counts are described in the report but they appear not to include pedestrians or cyclists.
At the moment, southbound buses stop at the bus stop on East Wall Road (the one which is proposed to be retained as is). Due to the nature of the bus service, there are almost no passengers boarding here. The buses stop to allow passengers to alight. As some buses are coming from the airport, many passengers have luggage and many are in the area for the first time. There is no gap between the stopped bus and the cycle lane and the potential for conflict is obvious.
At the moment northbound cyclists either stay on the carriageway or travel across the plaza to join up with the unmarked cycle track at the junction with Sheriff Street. Bus passengers wait at the minor forest of bus signs for northbound buses. At rush hours there are normally quite a few people waiting. Before and after an event at the Point Depot, there are large crowds of pedestrians in the area.
The proposal to retain the conflict between cyclists and bus passengers on the southbound side of East Wall Road and create a similar situation on the northbound side of East Wall road is directly contrary to the guidance in the National Cycle Manual.
That guidance recommends:
• Establish likely bus patronage profile at stop in advance of design choice
• Not suitable for dense pedestrian / passenger activity
There is no indication that the likely bus patronage profile has been identified.
This is an area of dense pedestrian/passenger activity and therefore this option is not suitable.
Point Roundabout Junction
The replacement of this roundabout with a signalised junction is welcome. However, the junction design will keep the speeds of turning traffic high, fails to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists. A junction taking less space providing direct pedestrian crossings and tighter corners would be far safer.
East Link Bridge
The Eastlink bridge has been excluded from this design. This is very unfortunate. Clearly the original design of this bridge did not take into account the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. Numbers of pedestrians and cyclists using this route have increased significantly in recent years and the current highly unsatisfactory situation needs to be addressed.
The design itself is not clear on how southbound and eastbound cyclists are expected to access the East link Bridge; it seems to be directing them onto the footpath, which would be illegal. Is this the intention?
North Wall Quay
The report states that there is a two-way cycle track on the south side of North Wall Quay. It is reassuring to learn this as the road layout is confusing. It would help greatly if sections such as the one in this photo were clarified. The road markings seem to suggest westbound cyclists on the left of the cycle track should move right to be on the left of the carriageway and then back to the left of the cycle track across the path of eastbound cyclists who seem to have nowhere to go.
The proposed layout where cyclists coming off the bridge turning west will pass the end of the shared surface to join a cycle lane and then immediately turn left to cross the cycle track seems unnecessarily complicated; in addition the turning radius seems too short.